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Brake lever sticks

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lgvincent Offline
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Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #1
Brake lever sticks
I have a Scott CR1 Team with Shimano components. Monday I had a nasty wreck which pushed the right (rear) brake lever in and now it's hard to pull. I've cleaned the dirt out of the lever and tried to lubricate it but it still sticks and doesn't flow smoothly as it did before the accident. Being new to biking I was wondering if anyone might have suggestions as to what the possible cause might be. The sticking/moved lever was the only damage I've been able to find as a result of the accident. It's not shifting properly either, I'm getting some ghost shifting but am attempting to adjust the cables slowly in hopes of correcting that problem. This sticking lever really bothers me though and I'm at a loss as to how to correct it. Buying a new lever is difficult at the moment considering the prices I've seen on the internet (I honestly thought a pair of levers was around $180 but the recent prices I've seen are over $300.)
Sep 13, 2012 09:21 PM
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nfmisso Offline
Veteran Member

San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,055
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #2
RE: Brake lever sticks
I would pull the cables, make sure that they are clean inside, and move freely. Without the cables, the lever should move freely, if not, something got bent. You have to figure out what, and how to correct it.

This is known as isolating the problem.

Nigel
Sep 14, 2012 06:56 AM
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RobAR Offline
Veteran Member

Mountain Home, AR
Posts: 725
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #3
RE: Brake lever sticks
Let's start at the top. What shifter set are you using? Shimano is not enough info. Narrowing it down to Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, etc would be better. The actual model (SL-5700 for example) would be best!
Without 'details' and/or pics - the best we can do is speculate all day long.

Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
Sep 14, 2012 06:09 PM
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lgvincent Offline
New Member


Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #4
RE: Brake lever sticks
(Sep 14, 2012 06:09 PM)RobAR Wrote:  Let's start at the top. What shifter set are you using? Shimano is not enough info. Narrowing it down to Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, etc would be better. The actual model (SL-5700 for example) would be best!
Without 'details' and/or pics - the best we can do is speculate all day long.

Oops! I apologize. I thought I had mentioned that it's a Shimano 105 lever. I don't know the model since it came with the bike. I'll try to do a little research and see what Scott was using in 2009 but at the moment I'm at a complete loss. As far as photos, the lever looks just the same as it did before the accident. I was pushed inward but one of the other members of the group ride pushed it back out although I suspect it might not be in the exact position it was before since I had trouble with ghost shifting until I made some adjustments to the cable (one and a quarter turns counter-clockwise.). Just after the accident there was some grass in the lever but I got it out without trouble. Once I got home I found a little dirt in it as well but used White Lightening Clean Streak to clean it out. I then attempted as best I could to relubricate it Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant.
Sep 15, 2012 10:56 AM
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RobAR Offline
Veteran Member

Mountain Home, AR
Posts: 725
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #5
RE: Brake lever sticks
Hi vince. For future reference, all Shimano components are marked in inconspicuace (spelling?) places with a model number. Your 105's model is molded into the body under the hood boot. Peel that rubber boot back and you should easily find it with a flashlight and a magnifying glass. Smile
In '09, I am thinking that 105 was still 9 spd. I'm probably wrong because my wife keeps repeating "10", "10". Do you see ST-5700 under there?
nfmisso gave you great advice regarding the cables (inners). Totally disconnect Everything from the rear brake and drlr and get the cables out of the picture. Flush it all out with that Clean Streak (great stuff!) and douse it with a thin lube (Tri-Flow is my fave). Run it through the paces (several times) and see if it performs correctly. If it does, problem solved.
You mentioned that you managed to correct the Shifting problem. Do you still feel resistance upon Braking? That may narrow it down to a Housing problem. Any deformity of a ferrule can 'choke' a cable and cause sluggish or even non-existant response. While you have the inners out - inspect those. Crashes can do wierd things.
On 105 brifters, the Main Brake Pivot Pin is totally isolated from anything that pertains to shifting. It's possible that this pin was bent in your mishap. Forcing it back to finish the ride may have compounded the problem. That is why I always recommend that Controls are tightened only enough to do what I demand of them but Move if forced.

Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
Sep 15, 2012 07:37 PM
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